Washington’s paid sick leave law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. The law differs from Oregon’s paid sick leave law in a number of ways, most significantly: (i) the law does not apply to exempt executive, administrative or professional employees or to outside sales people (as defined by Washington law); and (ii) there is no cap on accrual or usage. Unlike in Oregon, where an employer can limit sick leave to 40 hours per year, regardless of how much sick time an employee actually accrues, under the Washington law, there is no cap on the amount of sick leave an employee can accrue or use. Washington law does, however, limit carryover of sick leave to 40 hours.
Oregon employers who have employees who are based in Washington or operate a Washington location should review their sick leave or PTO policies to determine if the leave provided complies with the new Washington law. If the existing policy does not comply, such employers should consider issuing a supplemental policy for Washington employees or amending the existing policy to indicate that greater leave benefits may be available for Washington employees.
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